5 Easy Houseplants for the Gardening-Challenged

We all want to have beautiful things in our homes, and that often includes natural greenery. However, many of us either have a brown thumb or simply lack the time to care for needy plants. Don’t worry, though: If you are gardening-challenged, you can still have plants in your home without all of the fuss or work, according to Tovah Martin, author of The Indestrucible Houseplant. Here, she shares her list of five idiot-proof houseplants. 

1. Air Plants (Tillandsia spp.)

•  Handsome silvery leaves and jazzy flowers (but the rosette dies back after flowering)

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•  Requires no soil whatsoever

•  Water once a week by soaking in a bowl of water

•  Indirect light


2. Aloe spp. 

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•  Handsome, architectural lines

•  Prefers high light but will tolerate bright, indirect sun

•  Doesn’t mind occasional forgetfulness with watering

•  Compact size for any windowsill

•  Not prone to insect infestations

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3. Haworthia spp.  

(the zebra plant, Haworthia fasciata is the best known)

•  Forms rosettes of interesting leaves

•  Tolerates all manner of neglect

•  Loves bright light but tolerates lower light

•  Small footprint

•  Not prone to diseases or insects


4. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

•  Looks like a small evergreen for a park-like ambiance indoors

•  Grows very slowly, so it doesn’t become a jolly green giant overnight

•  Can be grown in a very small container

•  Tolerates indirect light

•  Tolerates forgetful watering (but don’t push it, because it can drop “needles”)

•  Isn’t prone to insects or diseases


5. Sansevieria spp.

•  All sorts of varying forms beyond the typical mother-in-law’s tongue

•  Grows very slowly

•  Tolerates forgetful watering

•  Will grow in just about any light

•  Not prone to insects or diseases

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